The conservative-leaning network Fox News declined to air live President Joe Biden’s national address on voting rights, and instead only devoted a few minutes of coverage to the speech after it occurred.
On Tuesday, the network was the only major cable news channel in the US to not take the president’s address live; CNN and MSNBC both aired the speech in its entirety.
During his address, Mr Biden condemned the “big lie” spread by former President Donald Trump and a number of his allies – the false claim that Mr Biden “stole” the 2020 election, or that widespread fraud caused Mr Trump to lose.
“The big lie is exactly that: a big lie,” Mr Biden said, while also pledging to support voting rights with an expanded division at the Justice Department.
Instead, Fox’s hosts discussed other news of the day; screenshots posted on Twitter of Fox during Mr Biden’s speech showed the network devoting airtime to discussion of billionaire Bill Gates and his divorce from Melinda Gates, as well as a segment about possible side effects of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.
Fox News has been completely ignoring Biden's speech on voting rights so far pic.twitter.com/hFvxInYV7Q— Lis Power (@LisPower1) July 13, 2021
This is what Fox News is covering instead of Biden's voting rights speech pic.twitter.com/k6evQURmgj— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 13, 2021
Live presidential addresses occur far less often than the daily White House press briefings which news outlets also frequently carry live, and Tuesday’s address came amid a growing nationwide fight over GOP-led efforts to restrict voting in states around the country.
The network did devote some coverage to the address after it occurred, with Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy remarking during a live hit that the president felt boxed in by his failure to generate enough support in the Senate for two Democrat-led voting rights bills.
The president’s address on Tuesday occurred while Democrats from Texas’ state legislature were in Washington DC after fleeing Austin to prevent passage of bills that would change how partisan poll watchers are allowed to operate in the state, while also imposing new rules on mail-in voting.
A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
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